Neil Macy

2023 Reading #5

This is one of my favourite books. I love Pratchett. I love his insights into people, and especially in this book how crowds and mobs and The People think.

His views on politics and change are evergreen. Night Watch was published in 2002, but everything feels completely relatable, in spite of how much has changed politically in the last 20 years.

This exchange has stuck with me ever since I first read it. I love it:

'I’d be very worried if I saw a man singing the national anthem and waving the flag, sir. It’s really a thing foreigners do.’ 'Really? Why?’ 'WE don’t need to show WE’RE patriotic, sir. I mean, this is Ankh-Morpork. We don’t have to make a big fuss about being the best, sir. We just KNOW.’

Overall, Night Watch is just a great premise for a story. Sam Vimes has the chance to revisit a defining moment of his youth, with the benefit of the experience he has now. Who doesn’t want that?

And then Vimes has the chance to stay in that moment, and live his life again from that point, but better. Rather than going home to the life he had built with that initial inexperience, and being happy with who that made him: the man he is now… that’s a really interesting idea which is handled really well by the way Pratchett gets you into Vimes’s head.

Published on 1 January 2024